Things just get stranger and stranger here in Virginia. The other day I did a post with respect to Equality Virginia's ongoing efforts to engage Virginia's public colleges and universities in pressuring Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and the Virginia General Assembly. Now, two further developments that ought to make LGBT Virginians (and anyone visiting the state) worried have occurred. First, GOP Attorney Ken "Cooch" Cuccinelli sat down for an interview with CBS 6 reporter Mark Holmberg where he discussed a number of things. While disavowing that he is a "birther," Cuccinelli said some crazy/frightening things. One concerns Cuccinelli's animus towards gays as noted by Right Wing Watch. Here's Cuccinelli's view of gays (the video is set out above):
Cuccinelli: Gay acts are a 'detriment' to society and sodomy is still illegal in Virginia
Cuccinelli dismissed the Birther question as a far-fetched wild goose chase, but when the question turned to whether or not he believes "the practice of homosexuality is a detriment to our culture," he was far less dismissive, saying "the acts are" because it is best when everyone is "integrated into society."
Added to this video taped statement is a comment that was left on my prior post on this blog by a reader that describes his experience calling the office of Gov. Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Part of it is troubling and suggests that Cuccinelli is by no means done with his anti-gay crusade. Indeed, he may be giving law enforcement officials a green light to arrest gays under Virginia's sodomy statute that was struck down by Lawrence v. Texas. The following is the reader's comment - which again, to me, is extremely troubling - left on my prior Bilerico post (I have confirmed with the writer who lives in Georgia now that it is a legitimate account of his experience):
I telephoned both the Office of the Governor of Virginia and the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia concerning the very public stance they've taken concerning non-heterosexually oriented persons in their state.
I also took this chance to complain to the Attorney General concerning a practice of some of Virginia's local law-enforcement jurisdictions, where they continue to make arrests for violations of Virginia's sodomy laws, imprisoning men for violations of those laws, then having the judges dismiss those charges when the men are brought to trial - not at arraignment, but at actual trial. I reminded the Virginia AG's Office of Lawrence v. Texas, and how the Supreme Court had issued a decision which negated all sodomy laws, nationwide.
The AG's Office informed me Virginia has not repealed their sodomy laws, so that arrest under those laws was still justified, and the process in place was correct: local jurisdictions follow the laws on the books, a trial court dismisses those charges to conform with federal court decisions; that was "how the system works."
Then the kicker: "Y'all don't even live here, so it really doesn't affect you. Goodbye." Click.
Unfortunately, I have heard of instances where such arrests have indeed been improperly made. But to have the Virginia Attorney General's office endorse arrests under a statute struck down by the United States Supreme Court is an outrage and certainly raises yet more questions about Cuccinelli's fitness for office. I encourage readers to call the Governor's office and the Attorney General's office on this issue: Attorney General - Office of the Attorney General; 900 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219; 804) 786-2071; Governor - Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, State Capitol, Richmond, VA 23219; Fax:(804)371-6351; Tel:(804)786-2211